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Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation:

Body Weight‐Supported Treadmill Training Versus Conventional Gait Training for People With Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury

Brown, Tracy H. PT; Mount, Julie PhD, PT; Rouland, Bethany L. PT; Kautz, Katherine A. MS, PT; Barnes, Renee M. PTA; Kim, Jihye MPT

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Objectives: To compare body weight support treadmill training (BWSTT) to conventional overground gait training (COGT).

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Residential rehabilitation center.

Participants: Twenty subjects with chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Intervention: The BWSTT or COGT for 15 minutes plus 30 minutes of exercise 2 days per week, for 3 months.

Main Outcome Measures: Functional Ambulation Category (FAC), Functional Reach (FR), Timed Up and Go; gait velocity, step width (BOS) and step length differential using instrumented gait mat.

Results: Step width approached the norm without between-group differences. Step length differential improved significantly more for the COGT.

Conclusions: Physical therapy can improve gait for patients more than 6 years post-TBI. The COGT is more effective than the BWSTT for improving gait symmetry during overground walking.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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